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“What's the matter, Watty, wi' you?

Trouth, your chaffs are fa'ing in! Something's wrang-I'm vexed to see you

Gudesake! but your desp'rate thin!" “Ay,” quo' Watty, “things are alter'd,

But it's past redemption now;
Oh! I wish I had been halter'd

When I married Maggy Howe!
“I've been poor, and vex'd, and raggy,

Try'd wi' troubles no that sma';
Them I bore—but marrying Maggy

Laid the cape-stane o' them a'. "Night and day she's ever yelpirg,

Wi' the weans she ne'er can gree:
When she's tir'd wi' perfect skelping,

Then she flees like fire on me.
“See ye, Mungo! when she'll clash on

Wi' her everlasting cleck,
Whiles I've had my nieve, in passion

Lifted up to break her back!”
“O for gudesake keep frae cuffets !"

Mungo shook his head and said; “ Weel I ken what sort o' life it's;

Ken ye, Watty, how I did?
“ After Bess and I were kippled,

Soon she grew like ony bear,
Brak my shins, and when I tippled,

Haurl't out my very hair!
“For a wee I quietly knuckled;

But when naething could prevail,
Up my claes and cash I buckled

Bess, for ever fare ye weel.'
“Then her din grew less and less aye,

Haith 1 gart her change her tune;
Now a better wife than Bessy

Never stept in leather shoon.
“Try this, Watty-When ye see her

Raging like a roaring flood,
Swear that moment that ye'll lea' her;

That's the way to keep her good."
Laughing, sangs, and lasses' skirls,

Echo now out through the roof:
“ Done!" quo' Pate, and syne his erls,

Nail'd the Dryster's wauket loof.
In the thrang o' stories telling,

Shaking hauns, and ither cheer,
Swith! a chap comes on the hallan,

“Mungo, is our Watty here?" Maggy's weel kent tongue and hurry

Darted through him like a knife;
Up the door flew-like a fury

In came Watty's scolding wife.

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“Nasty, gude-for-naething being !

O ye snuffy drucken sow!
Bringing wife and weans to ruin,
Drinking here wi' sic a crew!

nor your legs were broken!
Sic a life nae flesh endures :
Toiling like a slave to slocken
You, ye dyvour, and your

! “Rise, ye drucken beast o' Bethel!

Drink's your night and day's desire ; Rise, this precious hour! or, faith, l’li

Fling your whisky i' the fire.”
Watty heard her tongue unhallow'd,

Pay'd his groat wi' little din,
Left the house, while Maggy fallow'd,

Flyting a' the road behin'.
Fowk frae every door cam lamping,

Maggy curst them ane and a',
Clappet wi' her hands, and stamping

Lost her bauchles i' the snaw.
Hame, at length, she turned the gavel,

Wi' a face as white's a clout,
Raging like a very

Kicking stools and chairs about.
"Ye'll sit wi' your limmers round you!

Hang you, Sir! I'll be your death!
Little hauds my hands, confound you!

But I'll cleave you to the teeth.”
Watty, wha, 'midst this oration,

E'e'd her whiles, but durstna speak,
Sat like patient Resignation,

Trem'ling by the ingle cheek.
Sad his wee drap brose he sippet,

Maggy's tongue gaed like a bell,
Quietly to his bed he slippet,

Sighing aften to himsel'.
“ Nane are free frae some vexation,

Ilk ane has his ills to dree;
But through a' the hale creation

Is a mortal vex'd like me!"

A'night lang he row't and gaunted,

Sleep or rest he cou'dna tak:
Maggy, aft wi' horror haunted,

Mumbling, started at his back.
Soon as e'er the morning peepet,

Upraise Watty, waefu'chiel;
Kist his weanies, while they sleepit,

Wauken'd Meg and sought fareweel. “ Fareweel, Meg! and oh! may Heaven

Keep you aye within his care; Watty's heart ye’ve lang been grieving, Now he'll never fash you mair.


“ Happy, cou'd I been beside you,

Happy, baith at morn and e'en, A' the ills that did betide you,

Watty aye turn'd out your frien’.

“But you ever like to see me,

Vext and sighing late and eir; Fareweel, Meg! I've sworn to lea' thee,

So thou'll never see me mair.' Meg, a' sabbing sae to lose him,

Sic a change had never wist, Held his hand close to her bosom,

While her heart was like to burst. “0, my Watty, will you lea' me,

Frien'less, helpless, to despair ! O! for this ae time forgie me;

Never shall I vex you mair." “ Ay! ye've aft said that, and broken

A' your vows ten times a week, No, no! Meg! see there's a token

Glittering on my bonnet cheek.
Owre the seas I march this morning,

Listed, tested, sworn, and a',
Forc'd by your confounded girning-

Fareweel, Meg! for I'm awa.'
Then poor Maggy's tears and clamour

Gush'd afresh, and louder grew; While the weans wi' mournfu' yamour,

Round their sabbing mother flew. “ Thro' the yirth I'll wander wi' you

Stay, 0 Watty! stay at hame: Here upo' my knees I'll gi'e you

Ony vow you like to name. See your puir young lammies pleading,

Will you gang and break our heart? No a house to put our head in !

No a friend to take our part!" Ilka word came like a bullet;

Watty's heart began to shake; On a kist he laid his wallet,

Dighted baith his een and spake. “If ance mair I cou'd by writing,

Lea' the sodgers and stay still, Wad ye swear to drap your fliteing!"

“Yes, 0 Watty, yes I will." “ Then," quo' Watty, “mind be honest;

Aye to keep your temper strive; Gin you break this dreadfu' promise,

Never mair expect to thrive.
“Marget Howe! this hour ye solemn

Swear, by every thing that's gude,
Ne'er again your spouse to scall him,

While life warms your heart and blood.

“That ye'll ne'er in Mungo's seek me-

Ne'er put drucken to my name
Never out at e'ening steek me-

Never gloom when I come hame.
" That ye'll ne'er, like Bessie Miller,

Kick my shins, or rug my hair-
Lastly, I'm to keep the siller,

This upo' your saul you swear?
“0–h!" quo' Meg ;-—"Aweel,” quo' Watty,

" Fareweel! faith I'll try the seas."
“O stand still," quo' Meg, and grat aye;

Ony, ony way ye please.”
Maggy syne, because he prest her,

Swore to a' things owre again:
Watty lap, and danc'd, and kist her,

Wow! but he was won'rous fain.
Down he threw his staff victorious;

Aff gaed bannet, claes, and shoon;
Syne in peace and plenty glorious,

Held anither hinny moon.

Here is a study of North British rustic manners, in which the public-house is clothed with the most seductive charms that the most skilful adjustment of circumstances, ingeniously founded on the maladministration of domestic life, can accomplish.



National objection to Solitary Drinking-Stratagem to frustrate it-Baillie

Days-Harbour Usages -Steam Boat Usages-Wages-Unloading VesselsMagistrates' Notice-Creeling-Coal Mines-Sailors-Blacksmiths-Printers -Female Hat Manufacturers-Hoc Mané-Salmon Fishers—Despotism of the Usages-Seamen.

In Scotland there still exists a loathing terror, even in the regular drunkard, at being considered a solitary drinker; and, but for the amazing number of drinking usages, (so convenient for Scotch topers,) this would be an element of transcendent usefulness in temperance reformation. A man, although craving for the base enjoyment, dares not, in general, even in his own house, ask a dram for himself from the cupboard; or if he could be supposed to have so far given way to appetite,

his wife could with extremest difficulty be got to accede to his request, if the liquor was to be drunk by himself, without some stranger to partake. Such a one, however, has been known to achieve his purpose in a circuitous method :-He goes out and secretly invites a neighbour to come in on pretence of business : the case now changes; etiquette not only removes all objections to his dram, but demands the appearance of the whisky-bottle—and the character of the mistress of the house for courtesy is now at stake, and the necessity of solitary operations superseded.

Many men have been known in Scotland to live as drunkards, and as drunkards to die, by drowning or other accident while in a state of intoxication, and yet who scarce ever had been known to drink alone ;-a very singular national trait, and worthy of the most profound consideration, in connexion with the subject of which we are treating, and to which we may be permitted again to recur.

In country places, when half-a-dozen men are working together at some job, on the motion of one, more forward or thirsty than the rest, they will join together for a dram. When small farmers are behind-hand in their ploughing, their neighbours occasionally give them a day's work, (called in some parts a baillie-day,) when whisky is given to the ploughmen at the average of seven glasses per man throughout the day: this may be intended for refreshment, but it is partly in the way of courtesy and etiquette, and its result is often to drive the whole party to a public-house revel in the evening.

A joint newspaper is frequently rouped, i. e. auctioned among the subscribers, and the price spent by them in whisky.

In the small harbours, at export of corn and potatoes, there is a whisky usage called sack-money; and if it not granted, the parties will keep or cut a sack in revenge. In discharging cargoes of coals, slates, and other commodities, the consignee is expected to treat the crew, the carters, and weighers, or to be considered as mean and paltry. The freight and wages are afterwards generally paid in a public-house, and part of it drunk.

A party of Paisley operatives treating their families to a steam-boat jaunt on the Frith of Clyde, it was observed that one of their number was collecting money among the rest ; the reason of which was, that he being fond of music, had resolved that this elegant gratification should be added to the pleasures of the party; and he had at his own risk provided a bass and two violins for the occasion. He was at the same

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